Ahhhh, independence. The albatross around the neck of the audit profession. Or maybe that's the PCAOB. Or maybe it's the technology. Fuck, I don't know. If you imagine all the giant birds shitting on auditors, ugh, that's a horrific thought.
Anyway, independence. Cenveo, Inc. filed an 8-K this week informing everyone that the company had to fire Grant Thornton as their independent auditor:
The Audit Committee dismissed GT as the Company’s registered public accounting firm, effective July 21, 2015, due to information received from GT that it was not independent solely as a result of inadvertent “scope creep” by an employee of GT in its work for the Company regarding a non-material tax matter. In particular, the GT employee appeared on behalf of the Company at an administrative hearing on the matter, took action on the matter without required authorization from the Company and otherwise acted in excess of actual authorization, thus impairing GT’s independence.
Okay, somebody in tax made an honest mistake regarding "a non-material tax matter," but INDEPENDENCE! You're fired. Independence fundamentalist identified.
But then again, maybe Cenveo wanted to dump GT and this was the perfect excuse. Maybe they have the most self-righteous audit committee ever assembled. Maybe the chief accounting officer and audit partner were having sex and, because the company didn't want to discourage the pursuit of true romance, they made this story up to avoid sensational headlines.
I don't know what happened. But the fact remains, auditor independence is a joke.